Tag: diamine ink

Ink Swab: Diamine Shimmertastic Inks – Golden Sands


I’ve been waiting for these inks to be available locally since it has been released. I had my eye on a particular color of these Shimmertastic inks–Golden Sands. From the writing samples I saw online, I thought that the golden brown base color is very pretty. I ordered this bottle from Everything Calligraphy and it arrived yesterday (with a couple of chocnuts, yay!), much to my excitement. The bottle’s label is pretty, I love it. But the opening of the bottle is almost the same (if not the same) as their 30ml bottles. Sigh, Diamine, would it kill you to widen the opening a bit so my Bexley Corona fits more comfortably? A minor annoyance, this small bottle opening. :-/


Look at those golden particles. Compared with Emerald of Chivor, these micronized gold bits seem to be denser. They clump together near the bottom and it takes a good shaking to disperse them again. It kind of reminds me of the gold particles of Stormy Grey. They seem heavier.


The base color of this ink is so pretty. It reminds me of Diamine Sepia, only a bit more yellow. Maybe it looks more like amber. That kind of yellow-brown makes you look twice, it reminds me of the color of leaves in fall, quite lovely! The shading is gorgeous too. Even without the gold bits, I love the base color of this ink a lot.


I like that the ink doesn’t look gaudy, which was what I was worried of because it’s basically gold on gold. I thought it would make the ink hard to read under some lights, but it turns out that the distribution of particles is pretty good, you can see the character and appearance of the base ink pretty well. Under some kinds of light, the bling shines through…

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It doesn’t make the letters look like they’re written with gold ink, though. You can still obviously see that the base color is a nice golden brown, and that it’s got some expressive shading.


The ink’s flow is a bit on the dry to medium side. I wish that it’s a bit more flow-y, but it’s all good. Compared with Emerald of Chivor, it has more shading to it, although the color doesn’t have EoC’s depth (thanks to the red sheen and gold particles), but it is still a pretty ink. Takes about 10-15 seconds to dry on Tomoe River paper, and it’s not particularly water-resistant. It’s best to use on wet writers with medium or broad nibs. Probably not what you would use for daily writing, this kind of brown is pretty unconventional and not something you can use for official documents. Still, it makes journal entries and personal letters so very, very pretty.

I’ll observe the pen I used with it (a Lamy Studio with a medium nib), and will update this entry if it ends up clogging my pen (highly doubtful). 🙂

Ink Swab: Diamine Prussian Blue


Blue is always a wonderfully safe color to use for writing. I was initially surprised to discover that I have more blue inks than my favorite colors (green and brown) but I realized that blue is my choice for daily writing and for work. I recently tried Diamine Prussian Blue and, as always, I’m pleasantly surprised at how different inks can be from each other, even if they belong to the same color family. This blue is definitely different from the ones that I already have.


Perhaps it is a little closer to Diamine Denim, except that it is more bluish-grey in person. It reminds me of the color of my brother’s blue bar pigeons. It’s not your run-of-the-mill ballpoint blue, it’s not spectacularly vibrant or complex-looking. It’s like something I would use in a watercolor painting of a dock in a quiet, summer day.


This ink is a subdued, conservative color of dark blue. I’d wear this color in a heartbeat. 🙂 The ink flow is moderate, slightly on the dry side. Surprisingly, though, it takes a long time to dry (20-25 seconds). Lefties might find this a bit on the smudgy side, but I guess that still depends on your nib’s wetness and your paper.


This ink is not particularly water resistant. It leaves a faint light grey line where the water is wiped off, but that’s about it. It also has some beautiful, expressive shading. I like the blue-grey and dark-blue grey variations in color. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Overall, a great candidate for everyday writing. I enjoyed this ink a lot, I’m glad that I tried it.

Used in this review:
Diamine Prussian Blue from Elias Notebooks
Large Dot Grid Journal from Elias Notebooks
Cross Century II, Medium

Ink Swab: Diamine Amaranth


Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo has definitely opened a door. Before I tried Yama-Budo, I was almost completely sure that I don’t want to try pink inks (or magenta, in the case of Yama-Budo). I find pink a little too soft a color for daily use. I got this ink sample of Diamine Amaranth from Elias Notebooks among a few other pink inks. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few pinks that I liked. Diamine Amaranth is my favorite among the samples, though.


I wrote this review with a Cross Century II (medium nib). I have a feeling it will look even prettier with a finer nib. I’m not a big pink lover, in general, but this one is really pretty. I like that it’s saturation is high enough to make it readable and low enough to show off its pink-ness with pride.


This ink has a moderate flow and it dries surprisingly fast, even with a wet, medium nib. It’s a well-behaved ink, I haven’t encountered it flowing dry or overly wet. It’s not prone to feathering.


I wouldn’t say that you can use this for official purposes, or at work. I sometimes use Yama-Budo as a substitute for red ink whenever I need it, but this shade is decidedly pink. I think it’s great to use on a variety of things, though. I personally enjoyed using it to add accents on the notes that I take, and for journal entries. It writes light, but it gets darker as it dries up. The color reminds me of a soft old rose hue. It’s very relaxing to look at.


It’s not water-proof, and water washes away most traces of it except some lines of very, very light pink. It also shows some shading. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Pretty shading, huh? It’s an uncomplicated, muted shade of pink and I’m very much drawn to it.

Used in this review:
Diamine Amaranth from Elias Notebooks
Large Dot Grid Journal from Elias Notebooks
Cross Century II, medium

Ink Swab: Diamine Green Black


Green inks are awesome. I find that I prefer dark green inks for everyday writing, but I think that generally speaking, green inks are da bomb. Here’s another beautiful ink discovery through Elias Notebooks‘ ink swabs.

Diamine Green Black is a rich, velvet green color. It is a highly-saturated green. I’m not sure if it’s saturated enough to be called green black, perhaps it is. I find that the green component of this ink is a close match to Tokiwa Matsu, like dark pine green without the red sheen that makes Tokiwa Matsu’s color very distinct and complex.


This ink has some shading in it, which I appreciate isn’t very common in highly saturated ink. It dries a bit slow and has a moderate flow. It does not show feathering on cheaper, thinner paper. Overall, I’d say it’s a very well-behaved ink.


It’s not very water-proof, even if it is highly saturated. It’s a very serious shade of green. It’s an ink I would be perfectly comfortable using at work. It dries a bit darker after a while, and it looks like a very good ink for daily use. Not crazy-looking green, nor is it difficult to read. I love it. I love it a lot.

Here are a few close-up shots of the writing sample:

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Used in this review:
Diamine Green Black from Elias Notebooks‘ Ink Samples
Elias Notebooks’ dot grid, large journal
Cross Century II, Medium

Diamine Purples and Blues Roundup

Blue and Purple ink samples from Elias Notebooks

Blue inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never considered myself a blue ballpoint pen user. In fact, I hardly carried blue pens before I got into fountain pens. When I discovered Diamine inks last year, I was surprised at the sheer number of variations of blue ink. I’m surprised to find out that I even have more blue inks than my favorite colors (brown and green). Here’s a roundup of the ink samples that I got from Elias Notebooks.

Blue and Purple ink samples from Elias Notebooks

My collection of bottled purple inks is pretty dismal. I was only able to try out different kinds of purple through the ink samples offered by Elias Notebooks. I think my favorites would be Bilberry and Amazing Amethyst (in that order). I love Bilberry because of its golden sheen and its blue-violet hue, but Amazing Amethyst is also a very pretty purple ink. I actually wrote a separate review for it, I’ll post that soon. I do have a large bottle of Bilberry and it’s pretty fascinating that the gold sheen shows up even when I use it with pens that have fine nibs. Damson is a dark berry-colored ink, a very serious purple that would be great for regular writing.

Diamine Purples and Blues are available at Elias Notebooks

I forgot to include Diamine Denim in the list, which is a shame because that’s my favorite blue, and it’s what I use for signing official documents in the office. I think a close second would be Prussian Blue. It’s an interesting shade of blue with a bit of grey. I made a mental note of purchasing a small bottle of Beau Blue, which will be great for highlighting or making little notes in books that I read. Definitely not very suitable for daily writing, but inks as light as this are good to use with xf or Japanese f nibs to annotate or underline pages with thin paper (like Bibles).

Diamine Ink Samples are available with Elias Notebooks

Watch out for individual reviews soon. 🙂

Used in this ink roundup:
Paper – lined large journal from Elias Notebooks
Ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Pens – Cross Century II (M), Lamy Studio (F)

Reds, Pinks, and Oranges!

Red inks are a revelation to me. I’ve never seen much use for them except for correcting papers and since I don’t teach anymore, I saw no use for such reproachful-looking inks. However, I discovered that if I opened myself for new things, I’d find that I might actually like them. My first red ink was Diamine Oxblood. That took the dislike of red inks away pretty effectively. It’s still my favorite red ink. I ventured into oranges and pinks, and it’s been pretty interesting so far. Below are some samples of red, pink and orange inks.

Diamine Ink Samples are available at Elias Notebooks

See how vibrantly red-black Diamine oxblood is? It writes dark too and dries up darker. When I write with it, it does look like you’re writing with flowing blood, not superficial ruby-red blood. It becomes darker as it dries up too, like real blood.

I’m not very well-versed with pink inks but I think Amaranth is pretty. It reminds me of old rose, except it has a slight purplish hue to it. I like it a lot. There are a few inks that would make pretty highlighters or used for underlining and annotations, especially Hope Pink, Cerise and Peach Haze. Diamine Pink is adorable. It’s such a soft, subtle shade of pink that is a lot of fun to write with. Among the pinks that I tried, I would say that my favorite is Amaranth. I can see myself use it for everyday writing and annotations.

The reds are also pretty diverse. Aside from Oxblood, Diamine Strawberry is also interesting because it has this weird glow about it. It’s like luminescent red. It looks like it has some gold sheen to it, which would be more apparent with wetter writers. Then there are the interesting red shades like Ancient Copper, which looks like you’re actually writing with rust.

I’ve heard that some people have had issues with Ancient Copper crusting on their pens. I personally only experienced mild crusting in my Parker 88 (which has a nib that has no breather hole), though the crusting did not interrupt the flow. To be safe, I would recommend you use this with a pen that has good flow and to make sure that you thoroughly wash and flush out the pen to prevent Ancient Copper from mixing with other ink residues.

Monaco Red and matador both have this brick red shade to them and they’re pretty vibrant when dry. I’d say my favorite red would still be Oxblood, but I am definitely digging Ancient Copper, Wild Strawberry and Matador too.

I wrote a few ink reviews of individual colors, which I’ll explore more in the future. 🙂

Do you have a favorite red/pink/orange ink?

Used in this article:
Several Diamine ink samples from Elias Notebooks
Paper – Lined, large Elias Notebook
All samples are written with a Cross Century II, medium nib

Note: I realize that swabbing is a good way to have a general idea of the color of inks, but writing out the swatches gives me a better visualization of what the ink will actually look on paper when used with a fountain pen.

Ink Swab: Diamine Wagner

This is a very beautiful, interesting-looking ink color. It’s certainly a color that would make you look twice. In wider/broader nibs, it’s a rich golden olive green color, but in finer nibs it tends to be more of a yellow-green shade. I like using it in my medium, stub and CI nibs that are wet writers because it shows off the shading quite beautifully. The review in the photos was written with a Bexley Corona and a 1.1mm Goulet nib.

Ink Swab: Diamine Safari (Anniversary Ink)


Ahhh, the long wait is over. I’ve waited for the anniversary inks to be available again and now they are! When this came through courier this morning, I can hardly wait to try it.


I’ve had my eye on this color since the anniversary inks were released a few months back. I love green and brown inks and inks that seem to be mixtures of green and brown. Diamine’s anniversary ink is a beautiful safari green, and it was love at first write.


I used a TWSBI Micarta and a piece of ivory-colored Bevania Splendorgel cardboard paper on this review. I have a feeling the ink would look even more awesome in wider nib grades.


This ink is close to burma road brown, but is more decidedly green than brown. It looks like olive green with undertones of brown and yellow, which makes for interesting shading. Speaking of which, the shading on this ink is spectacularly expressive. Much like the other Diamine anniversary inks (especially Terracotta). This ink’s character really shines through even if I’m using TWSBI Micarta’s medium nib (which looks more like a fine nib). It’s like Diamine Dark Olive (POGI) splashed with a  bit of golden brown.


The ink flows pleasantly wet and dries fast (10 seconds). It’s not very water resistant, though. Soaking it in some drops of water for 30 seconds washed most of the ink away, although some traces can still be seen, enough to make out the lines drawn.

Here are a few closeups of writing samples. Note the wonderful shading of the ink.


Overall, I think Diamine Safari is a wonderful green ink. I love, love, love it a lot! It’s unusual and beautiful without being too crazy. I can definitely use this for daily writing.

Ink Swab: Diamine Sepia


Thank goodness for 30ml bottles of ink. We’re able to try out some colors before we commit to a big bottle. I tried out a small  bottle of Diamine Sepia a while back and was pretty pleased with the experience. I have this in my to-order list once I use up the small bottle. Oh no, I jumped ahead of myself. Haha.


This ink is a lovely shade of brown. Not exactly what I would use for daily writing because it’s an uncommon shade. This ink color is one of the best brown shades that I’ve used. It’s an old-timey sort of brown with gorgeous sheen. It truly looks like aged paper. When used on ivory-colored paper, the effect is so beautifully vintage-looking.


My only gripe about this ink is that it tends to flow a bit dry. It’s my first choice as the ink for my Edison Pearlette but it seems to show flow problems after writing two pages or so. It flows moderately wet with my other wet writers. Even if it’s on the dry side, I appreciate its beautiful color a lot. It dries in about 15 seconds, it’s not waterproof and not particularly water resistant either.

Here are a few closeups of the writing sample.